Bedroom Makeover – A Photographic Tour

One of my life goals is to have a house I have decorated or designed profiled in a magazine, hopefully Martha Stewart Living. I will also accept Country Living. Their profile on the Beekman mansion was well done, so I would trust them to do justice to my work. I can already see the pictures of my château gracing page after page–fields of lavender billowing in the breeze, palms swaying gently, moulding in every room two feet thick, my modern, yet contemporary kitchen, the creative flourishes dripping from every surface. They will talk of how clever I am, both for my quick, rapier wit during the interview and for my design style. The interviewer is very observant.

Over the past year or so, I have developed a love of home design and interior design and garden design [any kind of design] and have now redone three rooms in my home. I want to do them all over again as my style changes like the wind, but I will have to stay happy with them for awhile longer. I am itching to redo the kitchen, but that will have to wait until I return from Europe in June and after I have finished building the brick veranda outside–where I intend to sip mint juleps and write great works of fiction next to a wood-burning pizza oven.

This post is about redesigning my bedroom. I am going to show you a little peek of what it looked like before I restyled. Try not to gasp.

Yes, there were stripes and a popcorn ceiling and wide swatches of color. It was like a hypnotic circus, and I thought it was pretty badass when I painted it in the ninth grade. And, I suppose it is still, if you are into that kind of thing. The sloped walls were painted with the British and French flags and the walls were covered in four inch stripes that made the room look much bigger than it is. The size of my bedroom is ridiculous, it’s like an almost spacious closet.

The room as it was, was not fun for me to be in. It drained me of creativity and the feel of the place wasn’t soothing. There was no space whatsoever, just enough to walk from spot to spot. It was truly a claustrophobic area and I simply had had enough with it. I wanted a spa-like oasis where I could relax and escape the chaos in the rest of my home. I wanted a place where I could read, ponder, watch British sitcoms, and work on my novels.

So, I took everything out and was left with a really rather spacious room. Then I painted it white and began to visualize. I loved how the white made the room feel light, airy, and big! But, while white is one of my favorite colors, I wasn’t ready to have a white room. It felt too Scandinavian, too sparse, and too modern. I wanted a light color, so I selected Sharkey Grey by Martha Stewart. It was perfect.

It was calm, yet still had character. Exactly what I needed. Then I began to purge my belongings. In the end, I probably threw out and donated half of my things. I still had papers from the seventh grade. I do not know why I kept them around and I am far from sentimental about possessions, so they went to the recycling bin. I had a mountain of clothing that would no longer fit me, so that went to the hobos and fashionistas that scour the racks at Goodwill. When I was down to the bare essentials, the room simply fell into place. I hope you enjoy the photographic tour you are about to embark on.

Here is my desk. We will go into closer detail in the next shot. Note my vintage sweater. Very chic. I put this desk together out of two small bookshelves I found at Walmart and a large mirror that my Father gave me from his work. It is attractive and minimalist and I like it very much. The chair belongs to my dining room set and will be replaced by an antique office chair that I am going to refinish later this summer.

My desk is rather full, but it is very wide, so it doesn’t feel cluttered when you work at it. In the blue pot is my sea grape, a very slow growing plant that I began from a seed I found on the Gulf of Mexico. In the white pot is a gorgeous tree. I have absolutely no idea what it is, but I started it from a seed as well. It came from Old Key West Resort at Disney World. You can also see my tiny crown. The plant light brings a very realistic faux-sunlight to my room when the day sadly transitions to night and is good for my mood. The journals contain parts of my two novels, Terrible Miss Margo and Hôtel Ker-Maria, with which I hope to snatch my fortune. The journals on top are by John Derian from when he did his collaboration with Target. I was obsessed with those products and wish that I had managed to get a bit of everything. I only found the journals and plates. Sad. The others are by Moleskine, a company I adore and would love to be the spokesperson for when I am famous. Other companies that should consider me for an advertising blitz are Swatch and Nespresso. At the far end is my collection of trinkets and photos that help me get in the mood for working on Hôtel Ker-Maria.

You can get a better sense of how tall my tree has grown. I love it so much, I don’t know what I will do when it is too big to fit in my room. I fashioned this bulletin board out of an old frame that I found in the garage. I stretched a bit of scrap fabric over a piece of cheap foamcore, wrapped some wool yarn around it, and voila! I stuck in pictures that would be motivating to me, newspaper clippings that I find amusing, such as the one detailing the death of Iowa’s only porn star, and a recipe for martinis.

Closeup of one of the items on my bulletin board. I don’t have any idea how this came into the possession of McFarland who gave it to me, but I love it.

I cannot remember where I found this, but I am in love with it. I’m not a religious person, but we will get into that in a future blog post I have planned on writing. Even though I am not religious, I adore religious iconography. When I’m rich, in a couple days I expect, it is one of the things I intend on collecting. This also helps remind me to work on my novel, Terrible Miss Margo, which deals with the Christian religion. [And, I am this close to finishing that book. I’m so excited and proud of myself for doing it. I cling to the hope that it will be published, but even if it is refused, I’ll always be glad I wrote it and sell ebooks myself.] Anyway, when viewed from left you can see Christ.

From the middle, you can see the crucified Christ.

And from the right, you can see the weeping Virgin. This was a bad picture, but it was too close to the wall to get the right viewing point. I adore this piece.

Here is my ‘living room.’ The leather recliner was a gift from my Father. Being a vegetarian, I am not thrilled about the leather, but the chair is beautiful and comfortable. Next to the end table is my space heater, which I will not live without. My room must be 70° minimum. Can you tell that I love lamps?

I keep my collections of Maneki Neko (lucky cats), military buttons from the Civil War and WWII, and ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines inside the little built-in cubby.

Here’s a closer look at my gilt mirror that I stole from the house of a dead woman. Oh shucks, I didn’t know I got in the shot… I really love this mirror. It reminds me of sexy tin ceilings, except that it is on my wall. The glass is spotty and warped in places and did I mention that it’s gold? Well, not real gold, but that isn’t important.

Here’s another mirror that is part of my vanity mirror collection. This one came from my Aunt Gretchen and it is gorgeous–look at that detail!

This is the beginning of my miniature liquor bottle collection. If you’d like to give me some of yours, I will only be too glad to take them off your hands. Unopened please. In the future, I would like to line the entire bookshelf with them.

Here is a better look at all of my books. I recently got rid of about a third of them and still the shelves are full. I will have to get another one built…but where would I put it? I love my books, they are so bright and colorful, and good for reading too. I’ll show you a few of my favorites.

I have absolutely no idea where Modern Magic came from. I found it in our garage. It is such an interesting volume, published in the first decade of the twentieth century, that details how magic tricks work, from the most simple to the most complex. I find it a very difficult book to read as I am not a magician and I do not understand many of the concepts, but I love to look at the diagrams.

Many good books are in this picture: Close-Up on Sunset Boulevard, The Martha Rules, and my second favorite novel, The Historian. I could read that book a million times and never tire of it. I hope that when the cinematic adaptation is made it isn’t slaughtered, but I suppose it will be. It is inevitable.

My most prized book, a first-edition of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is shown here. I love that movie, I love that book, I love Joan Crawford. Everything about it is good. This is my parapsychology & horror section, two of my favorite genres.

Here are some more of my mirrors! Discerning viewers will see that I am modeling H2T. (Only discerning viewers who watch America’s Next Top Model will get that one.) The mirror on the left belonged to somebody in my mother’s family and the one on the right to somebody in my father’s. My great-great-great grandparents maybe? It is from before the Civil War. You can also see my Día de los Muertos skull and my tiny television. I don’t watch much television, so it’s perfect for me. I had the curtains custom fitted to my window with a very light, gauzy fabric that reminds me of the beach.

Here, I’ve dressed my skull up in a pair of odd goggles that I bought in an antique shop because they reminded me of something Lady Gaga would wear. I did some research and they were supposedly used in induction rituals in societies like the Masons and college fraternities. Sexy.

A closer look at my very, very old mirror.

My beloved lemon tree! It is growing so fast this year. Strangely no flower buds, yet, but I’m still hoping that it will flower this year and bless me with lemons. I love lemons. Love them.

Here is the view from my window looking out onto the gardens and backyard. You can see the rows of leeks in the top right garden. 300 of them! The outbuilding is a bit dilapidated and I would like to tear it down and build a greenhouse on the foundation. It would be more functional and more pleasing to the eyes.

Now, you may be wondering where in the world I sleep. I’ll show you:

That black roll on the floor is my bed. It is a pile of blankets that I unroll every night for bed and roll up in the mornings. It is exceptionally comfortable and saves so much space. When I had an actual bed in my room, all that I had in my bedroom was a bed. This works great for me as I truly prefer sleeping on floors to beds. The dresser houses half of my clothes and is part of my bedroom set, which includes the old mirror and a large bed I have loaned to my sister. If I ever have a large bedroom, I think I will  maybe have a real bed again.

Sitting on top of the dresser is my collection of records and atop the record player is my outfit for the Royal Wedding next week. I still need to take a few pictures and show you–sexy sailor strips and cardigans. Very exciting all this!

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